Ian McKellen has called playing Gandalf 'wonderful' and reveals that he has never tired of the role.
McKellen is back on the big screen today as he returns to the role of Gandalf the Grey in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
This is the fifth film where we have seen McKellen take on this role; we will see him just once more this time next year.
The actor said: "It sounds like a big responsibility. It hasn't felt like that. The job has been a wonderful one for me in many, many ways, and it's gone on for so long.
"Normally you play a part and that's it. Sometimes, if you're lucky, you get to repeat it.
"But it doesn't feel to me like, 'Oh, dear, I've got to go and do Gandalf again.' It's never felt like that.
"These stories are so wonderful and the productions and the cast are so varied and entertaining that I love going back to New Zealand where we film. So it's not been a chore at all."
The Desolation of Smaug is the second of The Hobbit movies and comes a year after the success of An Unexpected Journey.
Peter Jackson will bring the trilogy to a conclusion in 2014 with There And Back Again.
McKellen took on this role for the first time back in 2001 in The Lord of the Ring: The Fellowship of the Ring. Next week will mark the tenth anniversary of the release of Return of the King.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is out now.